These days you’ll find Kath Shortland running a busy permaculture and agroforestry project from a 100 acre farm in rural South West France. Her days are spent planting walnut trees, tending to a plot, converting the old distillery buildings and caring for a range of animals. No two days are the same, and from 2020 Kath is opening up the project to others, welcoming people who want to come and try out living on the farm and bring their own skills and ideas to the project.
Rewind just two years and Kath was buying books and gearing up to begin her Permaculture design course with Brighton Permaculture Trust. Before starting the course Kath was living in Shoreham by Sea and working as a blacksmith and a homeopath. She had spent much of her 20’s living on a homestead in Orkney but once in Sussex she was down to just an allotment.
‘I took the PDC course to get a hands on experience (reading books was not enough) and to meet others in the field. I really enjoyed the course, it was exactly as I had hoped it would be. On the farm now I refer back to the ethics and principles of permaculture to help me decide which direction to take and to remind me that ‘my way’ of doing things can be wrong!’
‘One of the things I enjoyed most about the course at Brighton was collaborating with other like minded people. This is why I’m now looking for creative, practical people with an interest in permaculture who want to live on the farm and contribute their time and ideas to the running and direction of the project. We also want to offer them free use of the land, vacant buildings and workshop to help them develop and explore their own personal projects and passions here.‘
You can find out more about Kath’s permaculture project ‘Permagricole’ and the opportunity to join it in 2020 below. You’ll also find her on instagram (@permagricole) and Facebook (facebook.com/permagricole).